I got a phone call last week from my District Superintendent informing me that Bishop Whitaker has approved for me to start at my first appointment on May 1, to be announced at that church last Sunday morning. I am, of course, thrilled at this new opportunity, and I shall bear in mind the wise advice that my colleagues gave to me a couple of weeks ago on the subject.
One of the challenges may be the lofty title of Pastor's Wife. Churches sometimes see this as a formal office with particular responsibilities, such as the automatic presidency of the congregation's chapter of United Methodist Women. Katherine, largely involved in homeless ministries, does not readily fit into this traditional role. And as I have told her, there is no legitimate demand that she do so.
But a greater concern is Hyzenthlay. As you know, many traditionally-oriented churches have predefined concepts of the role of Pastor's Rabbit. A pastor's bunny may feel great strain to engage in all of the ministries that the previous pastor's rabbit engaged in, and with the same excellence. Verily, it can be a great burden to live in public, always under the watchful eyes of the congregation as the Pastor's Rabbit.
What advice would you like to pass on to Hyzenthlay as she makes this transition?